Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dark Horse Comics Year-by-Year: 1992

Star Wars: Dark Empire #2a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 1992)
Dark Horse would start 1992 by publishing Star Wars: Dark Empire #2 in February which continued bimonthly until it's final issue in October.  Like previous licensed movie properties, Dark Empire was a hit for Dark Horse and they went back to print on the first three issues.  Arguably, Star Wars: Dark Empire is the most important Star Wars title published by Dark Horse.  It presents a serious Star Wars story that logically follows where the movies left off.  For Dark Horse, it lays a solid foundation on which the rest of their Star Wars line would follow.  Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler's Moon, is introduced in the Dark Empire story, but more importantly for Star Wars comic fans, so is the Jedi Holocron.  The Jedi Holocron introduces characters and events that Dark Horse will exploit when exploring new eras in the Star Wars timeline.

Classic Star Wars #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 1992)
In August, the same month Dark Horse published Star Wars: Dark Empire #5, Classic Star Wars #1 was released.  In 1991, Russ Cochran Publishing published a 3 book hardcover set that collects the Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson Star Wars comic strips from 1981 to 1984 in their original black and white format.  Classic Star Wars contains the same comic strips, except they are reformatted and colored.  Additionally, Al Williamson supplied new art to ease the transition from comic strip to comic book format.  Classic Star Wars titles that reprint previous newspaper comic strips or Marvel comics, become a staple of Dark Horse's Star Wars comic offerings for a few years.  Dark Horse would finish the year by publishing Classic Star Wars #5 in December.

It is interesting to note that the Dark Empire title is priced at $2.95 and the Classic Star Wars title is priced at $2.50.  The Dark Empire issues comes with a thicker, cardboard cover stock which allowed Dark Horse to justify the higher price.  This was an era in comic publishing where it was common for publishers to raise cover prices based on cover gimmicks.  A heavier cover stick is not the most grievous gimmick and it does lend a air of importance to the first Dark Horse Star Wars title.

TitleIssueCover PriceDate
Star Wars: Dark Empire2$2.95February 1992
Star Wars: Dark Empire3$2.95April 1992
Star Wars: Dark Empire4$2.95June 1992
Star Wars: Dark Empire5$2.95August 1992
Classic Star Wars1$2.50August 1992
Classic Star Wars2$2.50September 1992
Star Wars: Dark Empire6$2.95October 1992
Classic Star Wars3$2.50October 1992
Classic Star Wars4$2.50November 1992
Classic Star Wars5$2.50December 1992

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